Autumn internationals: England v New Zealand at Twickenham (Sat)

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Chris Ashton’s last Test try came against New Zealand in June 2014
England v New Zealand
Venue: Twickenham Date: 10 November Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Coverage: Radio commentary on BBC Radio 5 live (build-up from 14:30), live text on BBC Sport website and highlights on BBC Two from 19:30 GMT.

Team news & line-ups

England wing Chris Ashton makes his first start in four years as one of three changes to the starting XV to face New Zealand at Twickenham.

Sam Underhill comes in for injured back-row forward Tom Curry while in the front row Ben Moon replaces Exeter Chiefs team-mate Alec Hepburn.

Sonny Bill Williams starts at inside centre in a near full-strength All Blacks side.

Karl Tu’inukuafe replaces prop Joe Moody, who has an eye injury.

Williams will line up alongside Crusaders team-mate Jack Goodhue for only the second time in a backline featuring two playmakers, full-back Damian McKenzie and fly-half Beauden Barrett.

England: 15-Daly, 14-Ashton, 13-Slade, 12-Te’o, 11-May, 10-Farrell, 9-Youngs; 1-Moon, 2-Hartley, 3-Sinckler, 4-Itoje, 5-Kruis, 6-Shields, 7-Underhill, 8-Wilson

Replacements: 16-George, 17-Hepburn, 18-Williams, 19-Ewels, 20-Lawes, 21-Care, 22-Ford, 23-Nowell

New Zealand: 15-McKenzie; 14-Smith, 13-Goodhue, 12-Williams, 11-Ioane; 10-B Barrett, 9-A Smith; 1-K Tu’inukuafe, 2-Taylor, 3-Franks, 4-Whitelock, 5-Retallick, 6-Squire, 7-Savea, 8-Read

Replacements: 16-Coles, 17-Tu’ungafasi, 18-Laulala, 19-S Barrett, 20-Todd, 21-Perenara, 22-Mo’unga, 23-Crotty

Commentator’s notes

Andrew Cotter: “There’s no doubt that this is the most eagerly-anticipated Test of England’s series – even more so when you consider that they haven’t played the All Blacks in four years.

“Perhaps fittingly Chris Ashton – who hasn’t made a start for England in the same period – is one of the minor tweaks made by Eddie Jones.

“The All Blacks are in fine form – when are they not? – having won the Rugby Championship again and scored four or more tries in their last 12 Tests.

“But there have also been curious signs of defensive weakness, most notably in two Tests against the Springboks.

“But really it’s England’s defence, drilled by former All Blacks coach John Mitchell, which will have to be at its very best to give England any chance of victory.

England 38-21 New Zealand highlights

View from both camps

England head coach Eddie Jones: “Against New Zealand the 80 minutes are important. Jack Nowell has got an incredible work rate so we feel he’ll be enormously valuable for us in the last 20 minutes.

“But Chris can sniff a try from anywhere. To beat New Zealand you have got to score tries. He’s in good form and has looked sharp, so we’ve given him the nod to start.”

New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen compared Saturday’s match with last year’s series against the British and Irish Lions: “I think the England match is even bigger actually. I think the Lions tour has made it bigger because we weren’t successful.

“In only drawing the series, that wasn’t successful to us. That’s made this week have a sharper edge to it, which is good.

“You’d have to be on holiday, I reckon, if you didn’t work out that this is going to be big. And we haven’t got anybody on holiday this week.”

Match facts

Head-to-head

  • This is the first meeting since November 2014 – a 24-21 defeat at Twickenham.
  • England have lost the last five meetings since their 38-21 win over New Zealand in December 2012.
  • England have only won seven of the 40 all-time meetings, drawing one and losing 32.

England

  • England have won their last two Tests, having lost the previous five.
  • They have won 15 of their 16 home Tests under Eddie Jones. Their only defeat was a 24-15 reverse against Ireland on 17 March.
  • Chris Ashton’s last Test try came off the bench against New Zealand on 14 June 2014.

New Zealand

  • New Zealand have won 10 of their 11 Tests in 2018, averaging six tries, and 42 points, per game. Their average winning margin across 2018 has been 24 points.
  • They have scored four tries or more in all 11 of their Tests this year; England have only done so on two occasions and average just 2.4 tries per match in 2018.
  • Rieko Ioane has scored 13 tries in his last 11 Tests, including six in his last four. His tally of 11 tries in 2018 is half England’s combined tally of 22.

Match officials

Referee: Jerome Garces (France)

Touch judges: Jaco Peyper (South Africa) & Marius Mitrea (Italy)

TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)



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